Best Dessert Recipes (of 2011)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The final day of Finding Joy in My Kitchen's countdown to 2012 is perhaps the sweetest of all...BEST DESSERTS of 2011!  This was exceptionally hard to whittle down to only our favorites, but with the help of my family (and google analytics) I've come up with the following list.  Happy New Year! 

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake--with just four ingredients to whip together, this is the easiest cheesecake you'll ever make! 

White Chocolate Strawberry Cookies
--after searching for a way to use up some fresh strawberries, I serendipitously came up with this unique cookie

How to Make the Perfect Pie Crus
t--a full picture tutorial on how to make the perfectly flaky pie crust

Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
--with brownies as the crust, this cheesecake is as beautiful as it is unforgettably delicious!

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix--you'll never go back to the cheap powdered stuff again after trying this delectable version

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
--yep, they're as good as they sound!

Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting--my daughter's discovery, this recipe is great for when you're out of powdered sugar and need to make frosting

Hot Chocolate Cookies--with 4 packs of  hot chocolate mix inside and marshmallows on top, these cookies are oh so perfect for a winter day (or any day of the year for that matter)

Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping--you won't believe how cool it is until you make your own magic shell!

Easy Pretzel Turtle Bites--so simple, yet so good, these are great for a last-minute party food

Crockpot Chocolate Fudge Cake--better keep some vanilla ice cream on hand for this fudgy, chocolatey treat, straight out of the crockpot

Cinnamon Roll Cake--we just discovered this treasure, but already it's a big hit at our house!

Melting Snowman Cookies
--a hit with kids and adults, these adorable cookies are a perfect way to liven up a snowy winter's day!

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Dessert recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Best Crockpot Recipes (of 2011)

Friday, December 30, 2011

I actually only got my first real crockpot  last Christmas, so it was fun for me to discover the joys of slow cooker cooking this year!   We definitely found some keepers along the way and Day 5 of Finding Joy in My Kitchen's countdown to 2012 spotlights our favorites.  If you're interested in seeing a full index of all of our crockpot recipes, click here. 

French Dip Sandwiches in the slow cooker
Chocolate Fudge Cake

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Crockpot recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Best Main Dish Recipes (of 2011)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 4 of Finding Joy in My Kitchen's  Countdown to 2012, brings us the Best Main Dish Recipes of 2011.  This one was hard to get narrowed down, so I just picked a sampling of the recipes the whole family enjoyed--kids and adults.  Can you tell we like pasta at our house?  :)

Don't forget to check out our other best recipes in the breakfasts, breads, and soups.  You also might enjoy checking out a list of our favorite main dish recipes of all-time

Spinach Lasagna Rolls--these lasagna rolls were a total hit at our house.  The kids liked the cool presentation of the rolled lasagna, I liked the built-in portion control, and we all liked the taste!

Chicken and Bean Taquitos--ever since coming up with this recipe earlier this year, this has quickly become one of our favorite go-to recipes for a crazy night.  We absolutely love these dipped in ranch dressing.

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta-- this quick and easy pasta dish has become my daughter's favorite meal.  Lucky me, she likes it so much that when I say I need help making dinner she begs to make this for us.  We love the lemon and garlic flavor combination so much, that we never complain!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas--a variation on traditional enchiladas, these are still a hit with the whole family

Tacos in a Bag--perfect for a crazy summer night, you don't even need plates to serve this one up

Make-Your-Own Personal Pizza--perfect for a kids' party or just so you can please everyone at dinner, these super easy make-your-own pizzas are a hit at our house.

Best Grilled Chicken Fajitas Ever--These were so dang good, I could never go back to the generic version of fajitas I made before these.

Garlic-Tomato-Bacon Pasta--This dish has 12 whole cloves of garlic in it, but it wasn't overwhelming at all.  In fact, we all agreed that this dish could easily have been on a restaurant menu. 

Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Chicken--Fancy and kid friendly, this dish is perfect for serving company or just for a weeknight meal.

Hot Dog, Spinach, and Cream Cheese Pasta
--it sounds weird, but my family absolutely loves this simple dish

Enchilacos--a combination of enchiladas and tacos, the kids will like saying the name as much as they like eating this.

One-Pot Mac and Cheese--a go-to classic recipe for us for lunchtime.  It tastes way better than the store-bought boxes, but is every bit as quick and easy.

Asian Chicken Stir-Fry with Quinoa--filled with veggies, quinoa, and chicken -- this healthy, but tasty dish has won over our entire family. 

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Main Dish recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Best Soup Recipes of 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Today is Day 3 of Finding Joy in My Kitchen's countdown to 2012 and I must say that I'm completely enjoying going through all the recipes I've published this year and finding my favorites!  Today's spotlight is on the Soups and Stews category, which has got me drooling and menu planning already for next week.  :)

 Chicken Quinoa Stew--A new discovery this year, this hearty, healthy, and flavorful soup was perfect for keeping those post-holiday resolutions.

Cheese Crusted Lasagna Soup--this was one of those rare recipes (especially for a soup) that the whole family actually enjoyed. 

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
--this quick recipe is surprisingly delicious and  the very epitome of guiltless comfort food.

Chicken and Dumplings--comfort in a bowl! 

Meatball Curry Soup
--spicy and different, my kids loved the meatballs and noodles, while I loved the Indian flair

Tomato-Basil-Parmesan Soup in the Crockpot
--This soup is one I just discovered this year, but it has quickly become one of my favorite crockpot recipes.

Spinach and Zucchini Soup--For as healthy as this soup is, it's also surprisingly good, especially with a little squeeze of lemon juice. 

All-Time Favorite Soups (not from 2011)

Potato Soup--this is probably our favorite soup of all time. We've been serving it up for over ten years now and still no one complains when it's on the menu. 

Tortilla Soup
--this soup is another one I've been making for over a decade now and still it's one of my go-to meals for a crazy night.  I can whip up a batch of this in about 15 minutes. 

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Soup recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Best Bread Recipes

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today's post is another in the "Best of..."  series hosted by SnoWhite at Finding Joy in my Kitchen. Yesterday featured our best breakfasts and today is our best bread recipes of 2011. Stay tuned later this week for our best Soups, Main Dishes, Crockpot Dishes, and Desserts! 

Apple Pull-Apart Bread--with apples stuffed in every piece, this show stopping bread is as tasty as it is beautiful!

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls--I loved these soft rolls, with a hint of sweetness to them

Crockpot Corn Bread--Bread in the crockpot is as genius an idea as it sounds! 

Tried-and-True Banana Bread--Does a recipe get any better than "tried-and-true"? 

Braided Bread--And here's another tried-and-true family favorite recipe from my cousin, which has quickly become a staple on our menu as well.  We make this at least twice a month, sometimes even a couple times a week!

Easter Bunny Buns--Cute, cute, cute!  My kids loved these!

Buttermilk Dinner Rolls---Soft and flaky, these are yummy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls--pumpkin  cinnamon rolls with caramel frosting is a delectable combination!

OLD FAVORITES (not from 2011): 

French Peasant Bread--one of our most loved bread recipes EVER!  My 11-year-old can whip up a batch of this and we have this at least once a week at our house.

Classic Whole Wheat Bread--This is by far the best whole wheat bread I've ever tried.  Don't try it with white whole wheat flour though, because the flavor complements the regular whole wheat the best. 

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls--a hand-me-down recipe from my mom, these rolls are whole-grain, flavorful, soft, and one of our favorite dinner rolls of all time

Head on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen for lots more Best Bread recipes today.
 Countdown to 2011 with Finding Joy in My Kitchen


About This Blog

My name is Lara and while I'm definitely not a gourmet cook, I do love preparing tasty, healthy meals for my family. Finding new recipes to try and sharing the ones we've already fallen in love with is a passion I've had since college and the reason why I've started this blog! With five kids, I'm usually in a hurry, so you'll find most of these recipes kid friendly and simple to make.

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